Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette by Carolly Erickson

Author:  Carolly Erickson
Publish Date: August 8, 2006 Website:
ISBN: 9780312361501
List Price: $13.95
My Rating: 5 out of 5

Jacket Synopsis:
Imagine that, on the night before she is to die under the blade of the guillotine, Marie Antoinette leaves behind in her prison cell a diary telling the story of her life—from her privileged childhood as Austrian Archduchess to her years as glamorous mistress of Versailles to the heartbreak of imprisonment and humiliation during the French Revolution.

Carolly Erickson takes the reader deep into the psyche of France’s doomed queen: her love affair with handsome Swedish diplomat Count Axel Fersen, who risked his life to save her; her fears on the terrifying night the Parisian mob broke into her palace bedroom intent on murdering her and her family; her harrowing attempted flight from France in disguise; her recapture and the grim months of harsh captivity; her agony when her beloved husband was guillotined and her young son was torn from her arms, never to be seen again.

Erickson brilliantly captures the queen’s voice, her hopes, her dreads, and her suffering. We follow, mesmerized, as she reveals every detail of her remarkable, eventful life—from her teenage years when she began keeping a diary to her final days when she awaited her own bloody appointment with the guillotine.

My Comments:
I love historical fiction! This is the fictional story and embellished "replica" of Marie Antoinette's diary. It details her experience from childhood to the chopping block. Her lover, her children, the love for her husband, Louis, were all captured in this entertaining story. It is interesting to watch her character delicately balance fear, hate, love, and companionship right up until her death. I cried! Love it, would read it again. With this book, I have picked up several other of Carolly Erickson's books. Her writing is great and so vivid!

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephenie Meyer

Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publish Date: April 12, 2011
ISBN: 9780316043120
List Price: $24.99
My Rating: 5 of 5

Jacket Synopsis:
This must-have hardcover edition--the only official guide--is the definitive encyclopedic reference to the Twilight Saga and provides readers with everything they need to further explore the unforgettable world Stephenie Meyer created in Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. With exclusive new material, character profiles, genealogical charts, maps, extensive cross-references, and much more, this comprehensive handbook is essential for every Twilight Saga fan.

My Comments:
This is a great fun, fact filled guide to the characters of the Twilight Saga series. The first section is an open interview with Stephenie Meyer about the origins of this story starting in a dream, her writing style, character development, and personal experience of it all. The the book walks you through short background stories of each character. It also includes family trees and time lines. It's a fun read to better understand that personality of characters, how they came to be, and added view points to the saga series. The sections about the Cullen cars and fan art are really fun too!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publish Date: May, 6, 2008
ISBN: 9780316068048
List Price: $16.99
My Rating: 5 out of 5

Jacket Synopsis:
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.
When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

My Comments:
This book was a bit hard to start and get into, but I thought that it was such an interesting story line. I had to just sit and focus... once I was about 1/4 of the way into it I could NOT put this book down. I read every minute of the day and night to finish and I cannot wait for the Host 2 (The Seeker - 2012) to arrive. There is even a book three supposedly in the works. An interesting take on alien life forms that settle on different planets and take over the bodies of the beings on that planet. They experience the life of the host beings for ever how long they wish moving from host to host as the hosts age. They have the opportunity to go to other planets to experience different life forms through out their own life. The story between Melanie and Wanderer is intriguing, dynamic, and loving... I really cannot wait to see how Melanie (the host) and Wanderer (Wanda) experience the world together in book 2. The loving bond that develops between them is unique and beautiful.

Blue Moon by Alyson Noel

Author: Alyson Noel
Publish Date: July 7, 2009
ISBN: 9780312532765
List Price: $9.99
My Rating: 4 of 5
Jacket Synopsis:  Eager to learn everything she can about her new abilities as an Immortal, Ever turns to her beloved Damen to show her the way. But just as her powers are increasing, Damen’s are waning.  In an attempt to save him, Ever travels to the magical dimension of Summerland, where she learns the secrets of Damen’s tortured past; a past which he has always kept hidden from her. But in her quest to cure Damen, Ever discovers an ancient text that details the workings of time. Now Ever must chose between turning back the past and saving her family from the accident that claimed their lives—or staying in the present and saving Damen, who grows sicker every day...

My Comments:
In this continuation, Ever struggles with the desire to return to her life before that accident that claimed her family while trying to find a cure to save Damen. She believes her life would be more fulfilled if she were to go back to a moment before the accident and prevent it. However, she knows that her eventual meeting of Damen would not happen in that alternate life path.  Ever has to use Summerland and the knowledge library to seek the information she needs all the while encountering the not-so-trustful twin souls that appear to want to guide her to the right path. She still wishes that she had her ghostly sister, Riley, around, but she is not able to locate her or determine if she made it to the "other side" safely.

Ever spends most of her time trying to figure out Damen's long lost friend Roman and what he wants. Once he transfers to their school, the whole social structure of the school changes and that is when Damen becomes ill. Ever is convinced Roman has something to do with it, but how & why?

The author, Alyson Noel, has a fantastic writing style. She has developed great characters that will cause each reader to seek the next book in this series without a doubt! Shadowland is already here! The mystery that she builds around Damen and the constant page turning to find out what he is and how Ever can now exist in the immortal world. Ever struggles with changing the past and whether it would be the right thing to do. This is a great YA read!!